Friday, March 30, 2012

Tying the Knot: The Ring

I figured it was time to showcase my most prized possession since J and I have been engaged for almost 3 months already. I seriously could not love my ring any more and am still amazed that J did it all himself. Okay well with the help of my mom but I'll explain. 

Last fall J had started shopping for rings. I had no idea and I am so glad we didn't go ring shopping together at any point like some couples choose to do. I love that I had no idea what it would be like and could really see the thought he put into it. J and been in contact with my mom about what I'd like, what style would suit me best, where to shop, etc etc etc. 

I believe it was my mom who first pointed out rings of a similar design as mine from Jared's knowing that I would love the detail and vintage feel they had. But J wasn't sold on any of them specifically so what did he decide to do? Make his own. He met with an amazing jeweler at Jared's to pick and choose the parts of many different rings that he liked to create my custom ring. I would have never imagined he would take this much time and effort into literally creating my own unique ring and it's absolutely amazing knowing that no one will ever have the same ring as me.

Now I am absolutely in love with the ring itself. The vintage feel. The look almost like lace. The three-stone setting, which J was 100% set upon and I love him for it. All the tiny details. Etc etc etc. But my favorite part? The center diamond. When my dad proposed to my mom he did so with a simple solitare diamond. Eventually they bought my mom a newer, updated wedding ring (also a three-stone) and had the original diamond placed in one of the side positions. And now that same diamond, from his proposal years ago, sits in my ring. My mom was so generous and gracious to let J have it when designing my ring and I am so thankful. When she came to visit for Thanksgiving J insisted (but not obviously) that it was easiest for him to pick her up at the airport. Apparently her flight wasn't delayed like they told me it was and instead they had gone to Jared's to have the diamond taken out of her ring and put into mine. I love this ring because of what it symbolizes for J and I but I hold it that much closer to my heart because of that center stone.
The ring was almost exactly the correct size and I'm very impressed about that. My mom still had the order form for my senior class ring from high school with the size I ordered for that ring. The only issue we had is that my class ring was for the third finger on my right hand while obviously I wear my engagement ring on the left. Since I'm right handed my right fingers are just slightly bigger than the left and I needed about a 1/4 or a 1/2 size smaller. But instead of actually sizing the ring smaller which would have been difficult because of the archetecture down the sides of my ring, Jared's put in a sizing piece at the bottom of the ring. I was so amazed at what a difference that little piece made in the fit of my ring. It's the right size and I don't have the problem of the ring spinning on my finger anymore.

If you've made it this far, I'm impressed. I didn't intend for this post to be this long but what can I say, I just love this ring and all the details and special qualities it has. I cannot wait to choose a wedding band that matches with my engagement ring in the coming months and know I am going to love this ring for the rest of my life.

J, you did an amazing job. Thank you!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Nail Files: 2x

It's that time of the week again for The Nail Files with Tara and Vicki!

The Nail Files

This weeks polish is 
Topless and Barefoot by Essie


It's a perfect neutral I can wear anytime of the year. I didn't want to go too bold with spring colors quite yet but I'm definitely done with the darker colors from the winter already. After seeing these photos though I might go back and add a third coat because it does look a bit streaky with just two. 

And because I took a sick day I painted my toes as well. 
Rage by Orly


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tying The Knot: Bridesmaid Dresses Inspiration

When J and I decided that we were going to have a winter wedding I immediately began thinking about colors. And what girl wouldn't! 

But winter was a little tricky. 

I knew I wanted an actual color. Not just black & white or silver or neutrals. But obviously not hot pink (or any pink for that matter). I am not a huge fan of golds or greens really so those two were out almost immediately. I began thinking about doing a red of some shade. Red-red, burgundy-red, wine-red.... all good options but I wanted to stay away from our wedding ending up too Holiday and Christmas-like. I want to embrace the season with pine cones and snowflakes and flickering candles next to the fireplace but avoid the stockings and Santa theme that's easily confused with wintertime. 

And that's when I figured it out. Navy it was! I want a true, deep, classic navy. 


I also knew almost immediately after starting to think about the reality of our wedding that my maid of honor and bridesmaids would not all wear the exact same dress. I definitely think the uniformity looks good for some weddings and some bridal parties but I knew I didn't want to do things that way with mine. I am having my maid of honor and three bridesmaids and J is doing the same number for his men but there isn't going to be anyone else in our wedding party so I knew I could do different dresses for my ladies without making it seem too crazy at the front of the room. 


I want each of them to feel amazing and beautiful and confident on that day. And I also want to give them the freedom to choose a dress that they love, that they may wear again someday and that they can spend whatever the feel appropriate on.

Now things are just ideas and inspirations in my head right now as I haven't actually talked to my ladies about their dresses, no dresses have been looked at in person, and it's still early along in the planning process. But, I cannot wait to start hearing what they've found, knowing what they're interested in and seeing what they end up deciding on in the future. And the process is going to start this weekend as J and I are headed back to CO for a long weekend to start getting things like this underway. Eeeee!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spicy Shrimp Recipe

J and I have been trying to make new and interesting things for dinners lately because we kind of got in a funk when it came to meals for a little while. It seemed like we were always making the same things over and over again so each week we've been trying to make at least two nights into a trial nights for something new and fresh and not the typical. 

We've found a good one, let me tell you! And the fact that we made this recipe twice in the same week definitely says "success" to me.

Spicy Shrimp from The Pioneer Woman


Ingredients
  • 3 lbs unpeeled shrimp (21-26 count or larger)
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 whole lemons
  • 1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
  • Tobasco
  • 1 stick butter
This recipe is right up our alley. 

I made a few changes but stuck to the recipe for the most part and her instructions and pictures are awesome so I won't go into detail about that. We only made 2 lbs of shrimp (which is definitely a lot for two people) so I adjusted the other ingredients down a little bit as well. We only used shrimp that were the 31-36 size and they turned out just fine. I think I used more Tobasco that typical since J and I luuuvvv spicy and I only used about a quarter of a stick of butter. The Paula Dean in me just couldn't push me into putting that much butter on it and we enjoyed it 100% even without it. I served it up with crusty french bread just like I was told to and it was absolutely delicious! 


This recipe's going in the arsenal to be made again and again!


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